tv [untitled] November 3, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT
story -- four-story buildings, and those are on the corners. the predominant scale of the neighborhood is two and three stories, not really the four stories. according to, if you read exhibit 3 in the brief, the current description is three bedrooms. the description as provided to the website for the vacation rentals is three bedrooms. and the arguments made by the architect that we start with this maximum box ignores the facts in the residential design guidelines. you have never approved a maximum box. the residential design guidelines are part of the code. they are incorporated into the code. they could never build a building which was a maximum box with no setbacks or light wells.
the idea that they are only getting 77% of what they are entitled to is another false dichotomy. with that, i will turn over my time to one of the residence. -- residents. >> i am janet meyers. i live at 3149 gough street. i want to respond to the argument about young families. i am no yonder -- no longer young, but i have been in that unit and raised my daughter there. i have a 12-year-old daughter. we will live there as long as we can be comfortable. i do not know how much space a family needs. in terms of creating additional space for this growing family, unless they planned to occupy both of those condominiums, they
will still be living in about the same amount of square footage they will be living in now. it is not a significant increase to their living space. they will only be living in one unit. at least that is what they are uncertain, that they will continue to live there. -- are asserting, that they will continue to live there. thank you. president olague: project sponsor, you have two minutes. >> again, jeff gibson. when this project is completed, our building will be 85% as large as the building to the south, which some of the dr requestor represent, and only 25% larger than the building of the north. this is a reasonable ratio, a stepping down in massing and dimensions in all senses. the rear yard steps in. we have to transition between
things and make it possible for development to happen in the city. i would like to push back and see this project in a greater context. the population of the bay area is growing. smart growth suggests we work on urban in fill in areas served by transit, businesses, and utilities. we need to bump up the density a little bit. there is a moment of discomfort for immediate neighbors. i am genuinely sorry about that. but we still have to move forward in some way and make san francisco a city for the future. ultimately, this is the greenest solution. it is greener than highrises downtown, or additional suburbs. as john winder stated at the beginning, it is an obvious project. i did not even look at the address when i drove up the first time. i could tell which house it was good to be. in terms of policy, it is the right thing to do.
we need to deal with the growing population and make it possible for families to stay in the city. this is the right place to do it. thank you. president olague: thank you. the public hearing is closed. commissioner antonini: i did do some research through aaron starr, and was determined that my dental office is well over 500 feet. however, i am familiar with the area, because i am there every day, working. i have looked at these properties, and i understand. it reminds me of the case when i was first on the planning commission, nine years ago. it was an infill situation that involved property line windows of adjacent housing, an apartment building or individual homes that had been built at approximately the same time as the small building that was being enlarged to fill the space
and make it the same size and context as the adjacent buildings. of course, who knows what the laws were, as far as property line window protections in the 1920's. it was decided they could put those windows in, assuming nothing would ever be built. as we know, these windows are not protected. it looks like they have put a lot of light wells in. i did want to ask the project sponsor or representative a couple of questions. the first question is there have been some allegations, and perhaps this was discussed while i was out of the room, about the project sponsors intention to occupy one of the units. >> they do intend to occupy the upper unit. commissioner antonini: the other could be rented or sold. it has been kondo mapped already, in 2007. >> yes.
commissioner antonini: there was one dr requestor who mentioned a specific master bedroom window that will not have liked. i would ask that you check with your client and see if there is any possibility of letting light into that, because that sounds like a good thing to try to do. >> we could look at that. on the true property line windows on the south neighbor path property, -- south neighbor's property, we are abiding. one window goes into a storage closet. the other is the master bathroom. we do projects all the time in bathrooms that do not have a window. it is not a bedroom window, to the best of my knowledge. commissioner antonini: i think they said it was a bathroom. if it can be done, since the put money into remodel it, that
would be nice. it is not required. i am familiar with the code on that. i have some other comments. the design is well done. it does match very well with the rest of the properties, particularly the one immediately to the south, i believe. the rounded bays, the cornices on the third floor, and the fourth floor setback look very nice. and the same window treatment. that looks fine. this does fill a need. that is reasonable family housing. you would be creating two units with three bedrooms over two floors. there is a master bedroom on a different floor in each of these units. there is parking for each unit, single-car parking.
i think this is the answer to the question somebody brought up. what is going to happen to the other unit? it will be sold or rented to another family with children who can occupy it. yes, it is possible to have children and not have a bedroom for each child. if you can do that, that is a nice thing to do, or maybe you have bedrooms you can put a couple of kids in and have one for yourself. that is why we lose families. to the question of having other types of accommodations, we have apartment buildings throughout the marina. many are studios or one bedrooms. there are two bedrooms. they will remain there. they are rent-controlled and will remain rent-controlled. there are lots of possibilities to accommodate the people dr requestor's attorney have spoken
about -- has spoken about, which is a small building that is not appropriate. it seems like the style is three and four floors on that side of the street. yes, there are some two-story buildings across the street, but that is the other side of the street. this is the only one that is small there. i think those are my main comments for now, but i think it is a good project. it is well designed. i would like to see were we can accommodate the neighbors on the two sides to help them keep as much of their light as possible. that would be great. vice president miguel: i did, as was mentioned, go out and speak to the people there, and looked at the property. i did not have to look at the address, because i drove up the block and new which property it was. even if i had not been there for
this purpose, i would have probably said to myself, "someone is going to develop that property." it is just obvious when you drive up the block. i am not going to discuss property line windows, because they are not protected. i do not think these property line windows are absolutely essential because of what the art to the interior. -- they are to the interior. i did discuss the manner in which the light well was designed on this project. there was an attempt to respect as much light and air as the code requires, and as could be reasonably anticipated. i off hand, although others have more expertise than me, do not
see any manner in which a revision of the plan would ameliorate the light and air situation any differently. anytime we get in film projects -- infill projects where there is open space, we'll open space, particularly in those where it is a vacant lot, or where there is a very short building between taller ones, people living next door naturally are attracted to the light and air that comes in, and want to retain it that way. in the middle of a city such as san francisco, which does infill projects, this is not always the case. i think the design guidelines
and the design in this situation does as much as is reasonably possible to respect the product -- the problems that arise. i think it is perfectly reasonable to have two units of this size in this neighborhood. it is not out of line. it is not a gigantic space. i cannot find any reason to object to it. commissioner moore: i think the application is well documented. i think it is easy to see that within the overall block, a larger building is quite all right. unfortunately, in many of these older homes, because of the length of the building, property line windows were there, and
they originally sold ownership units. the building is mostly would -- wood construction. it creates hardship, i knowledge that. -- acknowledge that. i think the shape of the building is trying to address that in the best form it can. i would like to ask the commission to look at drawing a2.2, which is the third and fourth floor. i would like to also to look at the three the illustration -- 3d illustration from the northwest rear corner.
what catches my attention in this drawing -- i believe the roof deck which is proposed as an expansion to the rear, sitting at the edge of the proposed addition, is too large, partially because it would allow people who stepped to the railing to look back at the other properties. i happen to know how uncomfortable that is. do you all have that drawing open? i would like to make a minor suggestion. are you following me? i would like to make a minor suggestion that we suggest that the roof deck is pulled back to the extent where it meets the taller element facing toward the north, squared off from there. that way, there is no intrusion from people looking from the edge into those buildings. there is the railing.
that is a part of the roof deck, pulled back a little bit. that is really important. in these older homes -- older homes, to the rear, particularly when the deck price to run right at the edge of the building, the intrusion to privacy is dramatic. i struggle with that situation in my own home. if we can help prevent that, i think it would be a major concession to an element of privacy which i think the neighbors would benefit from. president olague: how many feet? commissioner moore: i would suggest we hold it back with a taller, opaque element to protect the light well. i would pull it all the way back to that.
president olague: i think that would be great. commissioner moore: if he can go to hear, he could look into here. i am just saying. president olague: we could take dr and do that. commissioner moore: if the architect would like to respond to the commission, i ask him to come to the microphone. president olague: that would be great. >> i think in some ways it is a reasonable request. we actually spoke to a neighbor, kind of off the back, who did not file a dr. i will put this on the overhead.
we spoke at one. to the neighbor on this property. he had concerns about privacy. in the end, he decided not to file the dr. he decided it would be ok. consider that this roof deck is effectively the backyard for the upper unit. it has no access to the lower rear yard, because the lower unit fully occupies that space. this is the yard. this is where they will be raising kids. this is where she is going to ride her tricycle. i do not want to make it too small because it is a family amenity. i understand the privacy concerns. when we were speaking with the neighbor i was referring to, we offered -- and he decided it was unnecessary -- to put a three- foot built-in planting around the railing that would keep us back from the railing.
if you study the geometry of it, and we can give you a diagram -- if you step back 3 feet, you cannot look down into the yard anymore. you do not have to pull back quite that far, to have the effect you are looking for. commissioner moore: you understand the effect. i am not sure if the 3 ft. planting is equivalent to the railing. >> i meant 3 feet deep and 42 inches tall, so it would function as a railing. there is a trade-off here. we originally designed this building with a solid wall around the back, and asked us to make it an open metal railing because light would shine more easily to the neighborhood. commissioner moore: a plant will start to take on the same impressions as the paris pact,
which he is trying to avoid. -- to the paroquet -- to the paparet, -- parapet. i would not want to fall into the back of what the department is recommending. we could have a deck which holds back a little bit more rugged than doing the planter idea. >> we could leave the open railing where it is and have a lower planter, only 18 inches deep, that projects 3 feet into the deck, just keeping everyone back from the edge of you are not peering down into the yard. commissioner moore: i would rather move the railing. >> i do not know if you have been in one of these buildings. it is frustrating and unappealing to stand at a railing and realize there is
more? on the other side of the railing. commissioner moore: i would actually say the upper deck should hold back, at least from the projection i showed you earlier. this is something the commission has to agree on. it seems you have given this more thought than myself. i am just observing something. >> we can make you a diagram showing how far you need to move back the railing to preserve privacy. >> the commissioner originally asked for the whole that to be pulled back. i want to make sure we are on the same page. you are suggesting the railing be moved in 3 feet, but kept at the current configuration. i would ask the commissioners which one. is it the second, where you pull the railing in but keep the current safe? -- current shape? commissioner sugaya: i think the
architect is suggesting he could give you a diagram. it might be 3 feet or 4 feet. >> the commission is going to take an action saying what ever worked with the privacy. we will work with them. president olague: the idea of a planter seems to nebulous to me. -- too nebulous to me. >> let me turn not on for a second, so i can get a sense we are talking about the same thing. commissioner moore: i have a better pen, if you want to use that. >> pulling the railing back from there. i do not think in this area, there is another concern. in the neighboring property to the south project out for further than ours -- the neighboring property to the south project out far further than ours.
commissioner moore: i want to make sure you are not hitting this line. you might consider angling this back a little bit. >> something like that. we will work on the exact details, but i understand the concern. i think that will continue to leave a large enough deck that it can be a rear yard in the sky, or something, and allow the family to entertain and use that space. commissioner sugaya: not to prolong this, but i am in favor of the project. mr. williams, i am getting the impression from the dr requestors that they either did not know or have a feeling that the unit, either one, was not
going to be occupied by the project sponsor. because testimony said, "there are going to be luxury condominium units, and we will have whatever people moving in upsetting the diversity of the neighborhood." the they understand the project sponsor is coin to occupy one of these units, did you know? -- is going to occupy one of these units, did you know? >> that is what they have been told. can i comment? president olague: no. 40-x no, sorry -- commissioner sugaya: no, sorry. >> i wanted to point out a mistake on the plan, on the roof deck. commissioner sugaya: talked to staff. it is a strange argument, to me. obviously, the project sponsor
bought the property, probably north of $1 million and south of $2 million, somewhere in that range. they are going to be, now, as they have presented to us, occupying one of the units. whether the building stays the same and they remodel it, whether it is the building we are looking at now, you still have a couple and their child living on the property. that means that if they sell or rent the other unit, you will have one additional family. i do not think that except -- upsets the demographics of the neighborhood that much. the thing i would not like -- i will not be a happy camper if sometime in the near future, through whatever means, and i am not accusing you guys of
anything, that it does not turn out that the unit becomes owner occupied. i only say that because in past experience that i have had, we have been presented with appeals. not so much on the planning commission, but on the board of appeals, people have come and said this is going to be owner occupied and we have children, and my elderly parents are going to be living here, and within six months they have sold the property. i cannot act on anything other than good faith. that is what i will be doing here. but i have been in situations previously where the neighbors were right. commissioner borden: that does not bother me so much. in most of those cases, the people were not living in the building. they were going to it but could
not occupy it yet. even then, entitlements go with the land, not the people that come before us. i was a little frustrated with this case, because i thought most of the arguments were not dr-related. i used to live in this neighborhood. even one-bedroom apartments are not affordable. the average one-bedroom apartment is north of $2,000 a month in the marina. to represent a unit as affordable in the marina is a stretch by a lot. these units are really expensive. if you look at the vacation rental information that is provided, you can specifically see there is one specific narrow set of dates. i have had lots of friends who have rented out their places when they have gone on vacation to europe, because people who are not rich often do that to cover costs and pay for their
vacation. if i had seen that this was on there for seven months, that would be different. but it is clear there was a precise window this property was listed for. it was a little disingenuous to present this as evidencng a vac. we know that happens in the city, but it is not a planning commission issue. i know mr. williams is often upset when there are variances. this building does not fall into that category. i wish we could stick more to the issues of this commission, and not on arguments of luxury condominiums or whatever it is, which are disingenuous, in my view, arguments, with very little to do with a land use reason for a building in the location. i have friends who live in the block. i am very familiar with the income levels of the people in the area. i am not saying the people here
necessarily are that, but the socio-economic diversity is lacking due to housing costs. commissioner antonini: i guess you would take dr to remove the railing -- to move the railing anin. and in accordance of the architect's representation, approximately 3 feet to the east, if i am correct geographically. west? sorry. ne. -- northeast. commissioner moore: i would like to suggest a slight modification. i do not want to say precisely 3 feet. i want the architect to find a
good line. that might not be 3 feet. but where that railing lands relative to the other buildings is important. that is important for you and the detail of how it is attached. i will leave that up to the department to work out. do it in keeping with the intent of not being opaque. commissioner antonini: i will modify. a minimum of 3 feet? >> i suggest a distance to be determined by the architect and staff to ensure privacy. commissioner antonini: that is better. we won't put a number on it. >> does that mean that we have to come back? president olague: no, staff level. >> on the motion to move the modification of the roof deck to prese